Christmas on 2nd Street, just north of Willis Ave, in Winter 1942 (left) and on December 15, 2017 (right).
Welcome to the Christmas edition of the Hometown Heritage blog! Today, we’ll be taking a trip down memory lane, looking at some historic Christmas decorations as well as reminiscing about how Perry’s business district has changed over time.
The photos above show the home of Perry’s Lighted Christmas Parade (2nd Street, just north of Willis) in 1942 and 2017. While we haven’t had any measurable snow yet this year, the 1942 photo shows Perry residents and businesses coping with a recent heavy snowfall. Festive garlands encircle 2nd Street’s light poles, while garlands and wreaths were suspended for several blocks over Perry’s commercial district.
The 1942 photo also shows several businesses of the day. A Philco Hall Maytag Co. office is on the west side (left) of the street, where the Crisis Intervention & Advocacy Center is today, and a car dealership used to reside in today’s Josh Davis Memorial Plaza. Robinson’s Clothing can be seen on the east side (right) of the street, which had overcoats on sale for $14, $16, or $24. In the alley south of the store, part of a large painted advertisement for OshKosh B’Gosh can also be seen.
Christmas on 2nd Street, just north of Lucinda St, in late Fall c. 1951 (left) and December 15, 2017 (right).
On a rather warm day in late fall, likely in 1951, Perry residents set to decorating 2nd Street for Christmas. Once again, suspended garlands hung over the street, this time, adorned with large stars and bells.
The date for this photo can be narrowed down by the movie on the Perry theater marque, Francis Goes to the Races. This picture, a sequel, was a black-and-white filmed comedy from Universal released in May 1951, which told the story of a talking mule and his owner who becomes entangled with the mob. The Perry Theater likely didn’t get this film right away, so it was showing later that year.
A number of 1950’s businesses can also be seen in this photo. On the west side (left) of the street, Rosie’s Café served food where today’s Eye Care Associates is located, the Perry Gas Co. did business in 2017’s H&R Block building, and the Perry Daily Chief newspaper was housed on the west side of the street. In addition, one of Perry’s furniture stores – Bennett-McDaniel Furniture – can be seen between Rosie’s Café and the Perry Gas Co. On the other side of the street, a sandwich shop is located near the end of the block and a Sinclair Gasoline H-C sign is visible just past this. In the center of the photo toward the back, a car can also be seen stopped at the railroad crossing, waiting for the train to go by.
Christmas at the Carnegie Library. Left: Librarian Marian Krohnke sits by the fire (c. 1953). Right: The Festival of Trees (December 15, 2017).
The Carnegie Library also got into a festive spirit. The photo on the left, showing Librarian Marian Krohnke, dates to around 1953. While she isn’t sitting next to a roaring fire, the fireplace mantle displays a nativity scene.
Today, the Carnegie Library Museum hosts the Festival of Trees. Carnegie volunteers Katie Schott and Laura Stebbins organize this annual event, in which local businesses, churches, and organizations set up festive displays, each vying for visitor votes in this fundraising and cheer-raising event. The photo on the right is just the tip of the iceberg that is the 39 (!) displays, which can be viewed through the end of this month (see the schedule below for holiday hours). Make sure to stop in and see this festive exhibit!
We at Hometown Heritage would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers, visitors, and supporters this year, and wish you and yours very happy holidays!
Happy Holidays readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
Christmas is right around the corner, so I hope that you have your gifts wrapped and trees decorated! Speaking of trees, we have many pictures of Christmas trees in our collection. Most are the standard kind of family picture with everyone grouped around the tree, smiling for the camera. Some of the pictures, however, are quite a bit different.
One of my favorite different Christmas tree pictures is titled “Bullock Child” and is a photo from 1926. As you can see, this photo is a simple one with a child sitting in front of a Christmas tree. What makes it stand out to me, however, is that the tree is unbelievably sparse! It bears a striking resemblance to the tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas, with the thin branches and almost non-existent needles. It makes you wonder why this family has such a sad looking tree. Did the area where they lived not have enough trees to go around? Did the family not have enough money to buy a tree? They seem to have been able to decorate it and provide gifts for everyone, as the boy is playing with something underneath the tree. Perhaps they spent too much money on decorations and presents. It might even be possible that they had an unfortunate accident with the tree, where all the needles fell off on the way home. We may never know the real reason, but it is fun to speculate.
Do you have any memories of a sad Christmas tree? Let us know in the comments, and have a good holiday season readers!
Hello again Readers,
Welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog! I hope that you all had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Speaking of Christmas, I hope all of you took the time to take pictures during the holidays, because it is a perfect time to capture little moments of history.
Now, you may ask why this is the perfect time, and I will tell you. First, during Christmas, the whole family is gathered together, and if you take enough pictures, you can see them grow and change throughout the years. It is like recording your own personal family history. In the future, you can look back and remember when you were young, or how much your grand-kids have grown. Secondly, the pictures themselves reveal a lot about the past. Take, for instance, this picture of Doris and Gary Lewiston. This picture was taken around 1950, and you can learn a lot from it. You can learn about the kinds of clothes people liked to wear by looking at Doris and Gary. You can learn about the world by looking around the room (notice the old tube television) and by looking at the present Gary is playing with. Most of the time children will ask for what is popular at the time, so one can assume that model tanks and planes were popular in the 1950s. You can also learn that pets were just as nosy as ever when it came to new presents.
I encourage all of you to take as many photos as you can around the holidays. You will be preserving not only your own family memories, but also little snapshots of what life was like in the past. It does not just have to be the Christmas holidays either, any holiday or birthday or big event holds in it a little piece of history. All you have to do is capture it.
Merry Christmas readers!
This blog post is more of a heads up about things that have happened recently and an update about our hours over the holiday season.
First, I would like to thank everyone that came to the Dedication for the Wall of Witnesses relief of Mike Kanealy. Although the relief was not quite finished yet, it was still a wonderful event. Plenty of people came and shared their stories of Mike, as well as ate a cake with his picture likeness in the icing. If you want to read more about it, you can read the article on theperrynews.com here: http://theperrynews.com/family-and-friends-draw-perfect-likeness-of-mike-kanealy/
Secondly, I want to remind you all about the QR Code Tour in the Hotel! There are about 25 QR codes in the Hotel Pattee, and each one will lead you to more information and fun facts about the art that you are seeing in the Hotel. If you have some time this holiday season, why not swing by with your family and learn something new?
Finally, I wanted to let you all know that the Hometown Heritage office will be closed until the New Year. We will be open January 4th though, so feel free to stop by!
So I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!